Thursday, November 17, 2011

FLL 13.1 Recap (& why "free plane tickets" are never really free)

The weekend started off nice and leisurely. I had the day off from work on Friday, and got to spend it with Mr. Blondie.

Emily and I caught and early flight to Ft. Lauderdale Saturday morning without a hitch. With the stress of taking care of my grandma these past few months, and then her passing, my mom was in need of a getaway. We decided Mr. Blondie would stay at home and we’d make this a girl’s weekend. My mom’s flight arrived shortly after ours, and we met in the airport.


We’d hoped to spend some time on the beach that afternoon, but it was way too windy. You couldn’t put a beach towel down without it blowing away, and the sand was whipping around. I knew it was going to make for some fun times at the race the next morning.


As excited as I was for the trip, I was feeling kind of blah about the race. I never got the pre-race jitters, or that feeling of pent-up energy like I normally get in anticipation of a race. Even standing in the start coral, I was hoping a wave of adrenaline would wash over me once the gun went off. It never happened.

Going in, I knew I was going to struggle with the temps and humidity (mild by South Florida standards, but still warm and muggy), and the monotony of the course (up A1A, back down A1A). I thought the pancake-flat terrain would negate some of those obstacles though. The strong winds weren’t something I had anticipated in addition.

Miles 1-4 weren’t so bad. I was on pace for a decent race and felt good. Around mile 5 mile the ocean belly kicked in…you know that sloshing, weird feeling. Around mile 6 my legs suddenly got really tired and heavy. During mile 7 the 1:40 pace group passed me. I may or may not have muttered shitballs oh sugar to myself.


After that happened, I was convinced I wasn’t even going to break 1:45. And y’all know my real goal is to break 1:35. Somehow I managed to hang on for a 1:41:xx finish.

If I’m smiling and waving in half marathon pictures, it’s a clear indication I’m feeling purely craptastic. If things were going well I would have been oblivious to the cameras.

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After the race I'd planned on hanging out and possibly taking a dip in the ocean. Once I crossed the finish line I was exhausted and irritated with myself. I just wanted to get out of there. Emily managed to skin her knees, get sand in her eyes, and fall off jungle gym while I was running. My poor, frazzled mom had gotten quite a workout too.

We hit the pool to unwind after the race instead

We stayed at a hotel just a few blocks away from our old apartment. It was hard to believe it’s been over 4 years since we’d left. So much has happened in our lives since moving to Atlanta, but everything felt very familiar and unchanged once we were there. We ate at some of my favorite old restaurants and did a some shopping at my favorite boutiques.


The plan was to fly back first thing Monday morning, then spend the day doing more Christmas shopping in Atlanta so my mom wouldn’t have to ship Emily’s gifts down to our house this year. I’d been tracking flights in and out of Ft. Lauderdale for 2 weeks looking at capacity trends, and it didn’t look like we’d have an issue getting seats.

What I failed to realize when I originally decided to do the race was this was Veterans Day weekend, and the northern schools also had the week off for teacher conventions. The cardinal rule of standby travel: DO NOT travel on holiday weekends or school breaks. I looked at every Florida airport and combinations of connecting flights through other major hubs. I concluded there was no way we getting a flight out before mid week. After deciding everything from Plan A through Plan Y wasn’t going to work, Plan Z was put into effect……Road trip time!

After having an ordeal with Budget Rent-A-Car (I've never had a good experience with them, but they were the only ones who would do a one way rental), we hit the road. We had all day to make it back to Atlanta, so we were game for the adventure. It wasn’t a bad drive at all. Emily slept most of the way, and I had my mom to chat with and keep me alert. I also learned the proper way to roast and carve a turkey listening to Martha Stewart radio on Sirius, hehe.

It was a fun girl’s weekend even if the race itself was a letdown. This was about 1.5 minutes faster than any half marathon I ran while we were living in Ft. Lauderdale, but I know I'm capable of better now. It wasn't my day. I have my chance at redemption next Saturday. My disaster on the Schuylkill earlier this year was followed by a PR two weeks later. Here’s to hoping history will repeat itself.

Anyone have a Turkey Trot or other big race coming up in the next couple weeks?

Stats:
Official time: 1:41:25
Pace: 7:44/mi
Overall: 169/2147
Gender: 32/1057
AG: 6/171

17 comments:

  1. Well I think you did great! You really pocked it up the last few miles. Have you ever eaten at that empanada place downtown. I don't even remember the name, it's a hole on the wall, but soooooo good! I'm thinking of running the ATL half but I'm back and forth and I also think it may rain.

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  2. Too bad about the disappointing race, you did get some really cute pictures though! :-)

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  3. That's still a pretty awesome pace!

    We missed you tonight. Hope to see you soon!

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  4. :-( Sorry you had a less than stellar race. It wasn't that windy on the West Coast - (i'm pretty sure I heard you say you wanted to come to St.Pete to run the RnR, didn't I? ) .. ha ha .. major bummer that you had to road trip it home, but at least you're only in Atlanta, and not colorado or some other state equally insane to drive to.

    If you don't see a recap from me on Sun/Mon, it's bc I died of anxiety + humidity over this race on Sunday. ah!

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  5. Even though it wasn't your best, congrats on another race!! :) I'll be using my pilots' flight benefits next month to try to get to a race. Fingers crossed that we make it to and from without having to do a 6+ hour road trip!!

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  6. Awww I totally understand the "free tickets". haha. I have had to rent cars plenty of times too. Looks like you had a good time even if you didn't get the time you wanted!

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  7. Your pictures certianly do not read "I am having a suck-ass race right now". lol!

    I am running the Detroit Turkey Trot on thanksgiving. They have a 1 mile - Mashed Potato Mile, 5K - Stuffing Strut and 10K - Turkey Trot. The race is before the annual Thanksgiving day parade. This event draws about 20K runners/walkers!!

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  8. Ah yes-love how stand by is not always free!

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  9. I know it's disappointing to do a race where you didn't perform up to par but that's still a great time!!

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  10. I agree w/ the rest - you still ran a wonderful time, even if not your best. And your pictures are really cute - I always look like death. LOL
    My half marathon is tomorrow morning in Annapolis, MD! Gonna be cold and all I hope for is a finish!!

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  11. Anxiety is a good thing! It gets the adrenaline flowing and gives you an extra boost. Don't let it get the best of you. You've worked hard to prepare.

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  12. Good luck! You went from 5k's in the srping to running a half. Wow. Conditions should be great and I know you'll do well

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  13. 6 hours is still doable so at least you have a plan Z too :) Hope you catch that flight though!

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  14. Yes, I know you can relate then! You always have to have at least 20 different back-up plans since it only takes one small kink to mess up the flight loads. I figured driving would work as a last resort. I wouldn't have risked the trip at all if it was more than a day's drive away.

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  15. Will you be running with your dad too? I love how the two of you can race together.

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  16. Sorry the race didn't turn out the way you wanted. Still a great time in my book :) You look cute in those pictures too!

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  17. I am always so inspired by your running! Way to go!! I have had quite a few mishaps traveling and was actually stranded in Atlanta trying to get back to Chicago about two years ago and I'm still licking my wounds :-)

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